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Duplex

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Duplex: Darren Michaels

Duplex

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
88 minutes
Wide Release Date:
09/26/03
performer:
Drew Barrymore, Ben Stiller, Eileen Essell, Tim Maculan, James Remar, Justin Theroux
director:
Danny DeVito
Producer:
Ben Stiller
distributor:
Miramax
author:
Larry Doyle
genre:
Comedy, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C-

Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore dream the typical new York City dream: how to get rid of the old lady (Eileen Essell) who lives in the rent-controlled apartment upstairs.

It may seem a little demented to those who live outside of the Big Apple (i.e., in places where boxes are for shoes, not living), but Stiller insists the movie is universal in appeal: ”It’s more about having a neighbor who drives you crazy. It’s also about always wanting a little more, and how that can end up driving you crazy, no matter how much you have.” And while the characters’ motivations may not be admirable, Stiller says, ”Lovable characters are really overrated. Sometimes the most likable characters are the least lovable.”

The production was not without a degree of instability itself: The original director, Greg Mottola (”The Daytrippers”), unexpectedly left the project before shooting began. Danny DeVito stepped in and saved the day, but it’s been more than a year since he finished the movie. Let’s hope audiences don’t give it the eviction notice they gave DeVito’s ”Death to Smoochy.”

The Killer Moment Stiller’s character attempts to resuscitate, via CPR, his elderly neighbor, who misunderstands and thinks he’s trying to kiss her.